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Wonderful Lebanon

March 15 to 24, 2021

Lebanon has always been a well-traveled bridge between East and West, sea and desert that is dense with history.  Above the layers of antiquity lies a land of mesmerizing beauty and contrast from the modernity of Beirut, once known as the Paris of the Middle East to the lush Cedars. Experience the warmth of its people, the tastes of its world-reknown cuisine, the aromas of its souks, the majesty of its past and explore some of the best-preserved Roman and Byzantine cities in the Near East as well as some of the most stunning Byzantine gems as well as many of the Islamic architecture jewels! Explore the Phoenician cities of Sidon & Tyre and the well-preserved Roman city of Baalbek, and the town of Byblos with its multiple layers of civilizations. 

This trip can be combined with a pre trip to Saudi Arabia (Mar 02 to 16, 2021)

and a post trip to South Iraq (Mar 23 to Apr 05, 2021) and Kurdistan (April 05 to 12, 2021)

Per person sharing in double occupancy (Air and land from NYC): $5,495.00
Single Supplement: $750.00       

Credit for not using our included airfare $900.00

Led by Professor Tobin Hartnell, Archaeologist, American University of Iraq in Sulaimani

Price based on a group size minimum of 6 and maximum of 16 participants

Your tour does not include

  • Airfare supplement from cities other than NYC (price differs depending on gateway city).

  • Entry visa to Lebanon - currently not required for US citizens.

  • Beverages with or without meals.

  • Trip surcharge to operate below required minimum participants.

  • Items of a personal nature (camera fees at sites, laundry, phone calls, emails, excess luggage, etc.).

  • Transfers if not arriving/departing on scheduled flights/tour dates.

  • Dayroom necessitated by changes in airline schedules.

  • Travel protection insurance (HIGHLY Recommended).

Your tour includes

  • International airfare from New York including taxes and security fees.

  • Meet and assist at Beirut airport on arrival and departure + transfers Airport/hotel/Airport.

  • Transportation by deluxe air conditioned coach for the excursions.

  • English speaking guide for the excursions.

  • Entrance fees to the visited sites.

  • Hotel accommodation (5*) at the selected hotel for 8 nights on bed and Breakfast basis.

  • Lunches on tour days including 1 soft drink.

  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, porters, restaurant and hotel staff.

  • 11% VAT at present time.

Trip Grade:

I Easy - Reasonably paced sightseeing, easy walking, but rather packed program with lots of visits and Beirut traffic is also notoriously bad and sometimes causes delays and requires to do some adjustments to the itinerary according to the road conditions. No particular physical challenges.

Lodging Level:

**** Luxury: Regular style- usually large- hotels, typical western standard with ample venues, and full amenities. (4 or 5 stars)

About your lecturer...Prof. Tobin Hartnell… As a student at the University of Chicago, Dr.  Tobin Hartnell directed an archaeological survey of Persepolis, the capital of ancient Persia. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Mesopotamian Archaeology at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), where he also runs the AUIS Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CACHE). His most recent archaeology project is at the Assyrian religious capital of Ashur, where he will use remote sensing and geophysics to detect buried archaeological structures. He has worked in the region since 2000 and lived in Iraqi Kurdistan since 2014.

View Tour Itinerary

Monday, Mar 15
USA - Beirut

Depart your home town to Beirut, arriving the next day.

Tuesday, Mar 16
Arrival Beirut

Meet, assist and transfer to Rotana Arjaan hotel or similar for check in and overnight. (D)

Wednesday, Mar 17
Beirut – Jeita

After breakfast, visit the Jeita Grottoes. The Grottoes is the slow work of the nature during the past thousand years. Visit of the upper cave on foot, which is access by a cable car then to the lower cave by small boat on the internal lake via the Coastal highway. Afternoon, enjoy Beirut city tour and visit of Downtown, Corniche and the solider reconstruction project day. Return to your hotel for overnight (B,L)

Thursday, Mar 18
Tyre – Sidon

Breakfast and full day tour to visit the South. First visit to Tyre, visit this magnificent sight including the sanctuary and the Hippodrome. Continue in the afternoon to Saida, town on the coast. Visit of the Sea castle and the souk. Afterwards return to your hotel in Beirut for overnight. (B,L,D)

Friday, Mar 19
Beirut - Harissa – Bkerke

After breakfast, depart to visit Beirut National Museum, also visit AUB Museum, after lunch proceed to Harissa, climbing by cable car to the Holy statue of Notre Dame for a view of Jounieh and Beirut. Visit Bkerke and meet with Maronite Partriach after making an appointment. Afterwards return to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)

Saturday, Mar 20
Beirut - Beiteddine - Deir El Kamar

The day will start with the visit of the Chouf Mountain. First village is Deir El Qamar, the historic residence of the Governors of Lebanon. Continue to Beiteddine, where a superb Palace stands over the valley, with its typical Lebanese architecture of the 18th and 19th century. Visit the museum, the unique exhibition of mosaics. Proceed to the Moussa Castle. After lunch in local restaurant in Beiteddine visit of Druze Leader Mr Joumblat Walid in his residence in Moukhtara (after making appointment) and visit Maasser el Chouf, Arc En Ciel. Return to hotel in Beirut for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)

Sunday, Mar 21
Cedars - Bcharreh – Qozhaya - Cedars

Drive north and climb to the Cedars where only some 400 trees remains but some are aging more than 2000 years. Walk through the forest which is today an eco-museum. Continue to Bcharré, village over the Qadisha valley and home town of the Lebanese poet Gebran Khalil Gebran Discover his work at the museum. Besharreh and Kozhaya are famous mainly for their magnificent, excellently preserved sites, such as the Gibran Museum and the Monastery of St Anthony. Afterwards return to your hotel for overnight. (B,L,D)

Monday, Mar 22

Drive across Mount Lebanon then descend towards the Beqaa Valley to reach the world greatest historical sites: Baalbeck. Visit the place with the Temple of Jupiter and Bacchus. Visit the Ksara winery for a taste of the Lebanese production. After lunch proceed to Anjar; the only Omayyad site in Lebanon, recognized to be one of the major market place on the Silk Road. Also, visit the farms of Taanayel then return to your hotel for overnight. (B,L)

Tuesday, Mar 23
Tripoli – Byblos

Day excursion to Tripoli (the largest city in the north and the second largest in Lebanon), situated 60 miles north of Beirut. Modern day Tripoli combines the past and present with many historical structures dating back to the Crusade and Islam periods, still standing intact and inhabited. Particularly famous are the old Souks or “Khans” where tradesmen still trade since thousands of years ago, 5,000-year-old Tripoli Castle and one of the oldest ports in the world. We will visit the Crusader’s castle, the Turkish Hammams, and the Old Souk. Tripoli is particularly famous for its Middle Eastern desserts and Sweets where we will sample some with coffee during a break. Continue to on the northern coast to Byblos, the oldest town in the world continuously inhabited for the last 5000 years. Visit the Citadel, the St John church and the harbor. Afterwards return to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)

Wednesday, Mar 24
Beirut – USA

Pick up from the hotel and depart Beirut airport

We (STS) reserve the right to change hotels, restaurants or the order of activities if/as needed